PodcastNational Housing Market Outlook

It’s the Spring Selling Season, So Why Are You Reading this Instead of Selling a Home?

Dean Wehrli

Dean Wehrli

April 5, 2024

Just kidding, you should keep reading.

Every year, the housing sector eagerly awaits the spring selling season. With the holidays in the rearview and the weather warming, it’s time to buy. If you are a purist about seasonal starting dates, it is not technically spring yet, but don’t be that way.

Jody Kahn and Dillan Krieg are surveying homebuilders monthly for John Burns Research and Consulting. They keep tabs on the housing market nationwide and at a granular level. We chatted with both of them on the latest episode of the New Home Insights podcast, and here is just a little taste of the takeaways.

Featured guests

Jody Kahn, Senior Vice President of Research Surveys, JBREC
Dillan Krieg, Research Analyst I, Surveys, JBREC

Why is the spring selling season such a big deal?

  • We started with the hardest question of all—when does the spring selling season officially begin? The pat answer is just after the San Francisco 49ers suffer another devastating defeat in the Super Bowl. But it also depends on geography. Check the weather forecast; if you see an image of the sun, it’s spring selling season.

  • The spring selling season is on everyone’s watch list because it is when people start to get serious about buying a home after the winter doldrums. It’s a gauge to measure expectations for the rest of the year. It’s a table-setter.

Let's talk pricing and sales so far this year.

  • So, how are we doing? Well, traffic has been solid, if unspectacular, but builders are seeing high-quality traffic. The folks coming in are usually ready and able to buy.
 
  • Sales started strong in January and, though still solid, are not gangbusters. It’s more like … if anyone knows the word to describe one notch below gangbusters, please tell me. Sales are that.
 
  • Prices shift quicker than ever, and builders constantly adjust incentives to meet market demands.
 
  • Inventory is mostly in good shape, and cancelations are normal.

Now, let's look forward.

  • Builders remain optimistic. Most expect to push activity this year, with, unsurprisingly, Florida and the Southeast at the top of that list. (See the table above.)
 
  • Note that typically, in places where growth expectations are a little more modest, it is due more to the realities of bringing supply onto the market than demand. This is certainly true in California.
 
  • Some reasons builders are optimistic include: resale competition remains constrained, they have a check on their inventory, rates seem to have stabilized, and incentives are effective and a huge advantage over existing homes.
 
  • So our consensus is that conditions are favorable and the future looks bright, but it does not look like the craziness of an overheated market that so often brings the hangover we later regret.

Then we ended with the second-hardest question—when does spring selling season end? Looks like that is not too far off, so now you can stop reading. But, as always, this is just a taste, so before you head out to sell homes, please tune into the full episode of The New Home Insights podcast now for the full flavor.

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About The Author

Dean Wehrli
Dean Wehrli
Principal
Dean helps housing sector clients figure out not just what might work and what might not, but why.

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